Gerard de Rooy unstoppable, again No 1
"Despite a defect on the switching mechanism so we could use only 4 gears the last 400 kilometres"
The Team Gauloises de Rooy knew another successful day. A first place for Gerard de Rooy, (the third consecutive victory) a fifth place for Jan de Rooy, 41 minutes behind his Son after suffering a crooked rim and Hugo Duisters finished 18th at 1.20 hour, still being 10 minutes faster than last year's winner Tchaguine.
217 teams appeared at the start. In the truck category 36 vehicles started the 630 kilometres long stage of which 529 kilometres Special. The stage from Kayes in Mali to Tambacounda in Senegal, the last country for the riders of the desert, was not very difficult for the navigators. But the competitors did meet the savannah's, dense woods and small rivers; so enough difficulties.
Gerard de Rooy went off very well again. Being the first truck to start, he managed it to clock the fastest time at checkpoint 1 after 189 kilometres. Sugawara needed 5.45 minutes more, Kabirov almost 6 minutes and the Austrian Reif 6.43 minutes. Hans Bekx passed 9th at 13.14 minutes. Father Jan needed 28.24 minutes more and clocked the 25th time. Hugo Duisters passed 30th, 5.13 minutes after Jan.
Gerard de Rooy was also at the 2nd checkpoint fastest. This time it was Kabirov who followed hard after him at 4.27 minutes. Reif and Sugawara followed at respectively 5.10 minutes and 6.17 minutes. Hans Bekx passed 10th at 15.30 minutes. Jan de Rooy was 19th at a bit less than 29 minutes and Hugo Duisters 28th at 42 minutes.
At the finish it appeared that young De Rooy drove the entire field to shreds. Sugawara finished 2nd at 24.38 minutes, Kabirov finished 31.09 minutes later, before Daraszi and Jan de Rooy. Hans Bekx took the 8th place at 46.10 minutes. "It was a perfect rally-day, despite all our bad luck," tells Tom Colsoul at the bivouac in Tambacounda, "we drove 400 kilometres with a defect switching mechanism, we could only use 4 gears. On top of everything we also suffered a broken spring leaf." A typical example of the last days of a rally, when most of the vehicles are being kept together with ropes and are groaning on their way to the releasing beaches of Dakar.
Kabirov can't loose anymore. He is 2.55 hours ahead of Hans Bekx who will certainly be on the stand in Dakar. Sugawara takes the 3rd place, Vismara is 4th and Jan de Rooy 5th at 7.42.56 hours. Gerard de Rooy takes the 6th place at 9.40.06 hours and Hugo Duisters is 22nd in a field consisting of only 32 trucks.
To be continued . . . . .